Locomotive named after Club and City
Niall Quinn, chairman of SAFC & President of SFPA, named the First GBRf class 66 locomotive ‘Sunderland’ on Friday 10 August.
The Sunderland Legend unveiled the 1930’s style plaque on the side of loco 66725 at a ceremony at the Port of Tyne.
Several former Black Cats’ stars, including Jim Montgomery, Bobby Kerr and Gary Bennett, joined Niall and over 100 guests at the event.
The naming celebrates the contract between First GBRf and Drax Power Limited to move coal from the Port to the Drax power station.
Niall said: “It’s a real pleasure for me to be able to perform the naming ceremony. Sunderland is a club that is steeped in tradition and has always had a synergy with local industry and hopefully the historical link with the victorious 1937 side may bring us that extra bit of luck for the new season.”
John Smith, First GBRf’s managing director, and Matthew Hunt, commercial manager at the port - both lifelong Sunderland supporters – were delighted to have Niall to name the engine.
They hope the link with the 1930s is a good omen, “The last loco to carry this name took the victorious 1937 Sunderland team to Wembley for the cup final against Preston North End,” explained John. “I hope this coming season brings as much success for the present team.”
“We are delighted to welcome First GBRf to our Tyne Dock estate” explains Matthew Hunt, Commercial Manager for the Port of Tyne “ and the excellent working relationship we are building with them ensures that together we provide a high quality service to deliver coal to the power generators.”